Monday, July 6, 2009

Where is the U.S. Ideologically?

One of the biggest netroots memes we saw after last year's election was the pushback against the idea of America as a "center-right nation." Radicals beat back against that line as if their life depended on it.

Here's this from
Firedoglake, for example:
The Republicans are a hard-right party in a center-left country, which leaves them with two options: They can move left (not happening), or they can have their media friends bray about how America is a center-right nation until Obama and the Democrats move right to join them. I have a sinking feeling that that might actually work...
Here's Chris Bowers just after President Obama took office:
We have spent so long living under a government that was dominated by the right-wing of the Republican Party, that we are still having a difficult time coping with the new political reality. The right-wing is no longer the problem. The so-called "moderates" in Congress are.

Hubris, I guess?

President Obama obviously doesn't think the country's so center left (which explains his wimpiness on DADT, for example). Obama hammered the netroots hordes last week for eating their own, and Jane Hamsher responded with characteristic defiance, "Will MoveOn Cave To Obama’s Pressure?"

It's kind of funny, really. My sense is that once hardline radicals found a sympathetic Democrat in power, they thought they'd captured their own administration.

In any case, new polling data out today should help put things in perspective. Sean Trende has a full analysis at "
What Emerging Progressive Majority?"

He builds on Gallup's new survey analysis out today, "
Special Report: Ideologically, Where Is the U.S. Moving?"

I'll just quote the introduction. My real interest is to see the reaction on the left now that their balloon's popped:
Despite the results of the 2008 presidential election, Americans, by a 2-to-1 margin, say their political views in recent years have become more conservative rather than more liberal, 39% to 18%, with 42% saying they have not changed. While independents and Democrats most often say their views haven't changed, more members of all three major partisan groups indicate that their views have shifted to the right rather than to the left.


shoprat said...

Problem for the left is that the 2006 and 2008 votes were actually against a man whom the press had demonized, not for a "progressive" government. Socialism is merely the poison hidden in the dainty dish that America mindlessly swallowed.

cracker said...

Ideologically.......I think we are seeing (and hearing) a deconstruction/reconstruction of Ideological definitions.

things once considered left or right are now, for more educated generations, simply center.

"Extreme" and "Radical" are the only adjectives that seem to dictate noteworthy recognition.....and even they are over-used.

The term "exceptionalism" as an ideology seems to be emerging.....along with the term "relativism".

Interesting times indeed.

theCL said...

Few seem to understand what Left or Right even means anymore, which includes everyone on the Left!

Regarding the political scale, I've never found any logic in anything other than a straight, left-to-right, line. You either want more government intrusion into your life, or less. In the real world, these are the only 2 choices that actually exist.

So, for a political scale to offer any real world meaning, it must go from total government to none at all (100-0%).

The idea that somehow, there are "different types" of government intrusion, is an illusion at best. It matters not whether the intrusion is considered "social," "economic," or something else, because each, regardless of preferred choice, represents either more government or less.

I don't prescribe to anarchy (neither did our Founders) for all the logical reasons. The same goes for totalitarianism too! They both only end in the same result - totalitarianism.

But here's the thing ... using GWB as an example ... in real terms (on a simple left/right scale), Bush was absolutely on the left-side of the scale! What I see as the biggest absurdity of the Left (well, there's so many it's too difficult to honestly rank), is the notion that GWB was somehow, some way, "far-right!"

Maybe if you're trippin' on mushrooms or something he was "far-right" ... oh, there I go again, expecting the Left to apply (just an ounce) of logic. My bad.

"Far-right" in reality, are the minarchists and anarchists, not GWB! It's the same thing with this fantasy (even many "right pundits" fall for), that fascism is somehow, some way, magically on the right. (It's gotta be those mushrooms ...)

This is America, not Europe, where the political-scale traditionally runs opposite ours - right-to-left (0-100%). On which, I must also add how much I abhore European terms such as "centre-right/centre-left," being used in America at all!

Either language has meaning or it doesn't. No longer should we allow the Left to dictate the language. They're as abusive with it, as they are with everything else!

One last thing ... I pick on Republicans with as much ease as I do anyone on the Left. There's a method to my madness though ...

While I'm more than happy to support a Republican politician (even apologetic at times), I believe it's vital that "we the people" use words with real definitions. This means keeping the words "Republican" and "conservative," independent of each other. These two words are not the same.

If "we the people" exercised this teeny-tiny, little discipline, we'd never have had "Bailout Maverick" McCain to deal with in the first place!

Also, I never refer to politicians as "leaders" either ... This is America. I, "we the people," are the leaders. Politicians work for us!

smitty1e said...

In beverage terms, we're a hot conservative cup of coffee with some progressive fluff obscuring the surface.

Rich Casebolt said...

There's another re-alignment going on as well ... citizen vs. political class ... that is beginning to blur the traditional boundaries between (R) and (D).

Cracker, you can call me crazy, but I still want to erase those boundaries. Until we break the machine and stop allowing the political class and the parties they have turned into self-serving institutions to govern FOR us, we're going to keep coming back to the same problem, over and over.

That was reinforced, both at the Tea Party I attended Saturday ... and of all places, church on Sunday.

In both places, the point that WE let all this happen (and no, the church didn't get political ... it stayed non-partisan in its presentation) was driven home.

We let it happen by lazily trusting anyone with our (letter) with our vote, without doing anything else to hold them to account for their performance ... let alone getting involved ourselves to shape our governance.

We let it happen by compromising our economic self-sufficiency as individuals through poor planning and childish choices ... even encouraging our children to buy iPhones and Starbucks before building an emergency fund or purchasing health insurance ... with the consequences making government "help" awfully appealing to us, despite the strings and strictures placed on our future by it.

Now, we all can't serve as leaders ... but we all can act to hold whoever our leaders are at the time, to account for their performance through our votes and in other, more timely manners.

Either we get involved, or as Pogo said, we wlll meet the enemy, and he is us.

cracker said...

Mr. Casebolt

I dont really think your Crazy, in fact I appreciate your style.

You once mentioned "conventional thinking" in a previous post.

Conventional ideologies seem to hinge on the juxtapositions of right or left, big or small and conservative or liberal.

honestly, we have much more to consider than these terms allow.

lets be unconventional

I'll use one comparison only.

efficient versus inefficient

an efficient governance takes my tax money and invests it into my National well being, with forethought consideration and ethics.

An inefficient government takes my tax dollars and invests it wastefully, incompletley understood endeavors, risky adventures, and programs that have no discernable returns.

If my government is efficient, the size is only relative to its proper function and I understand that.

If my government executes its duties within the context of the law then I can only consider it a Conservative govt. Laws can change per requests but the govt must stay within those prescribed parameters dictated by the Justice system.

And influence, the left or right -ness is in the eye of the beholder my friend. It is illegal to tap my phone....wait, its I must accept that people are listening to me, perhaps even reading my mail, without my permission, but with it too, as a citizen I willingly submit to the law even if I dont agree with it.

but thats another story

Intolerance lends itself to what in a Democratic Republic.....I'll tell you if youre not sure....Inefficieny and Usery.

What we are seeing and have seen is the inefficiency of wedge politics, and the stoking of culture wars by truly mentally povertized pundits, pros and advisors

Its efficiency within the diversity that will prove its worth in the 21st century.

This is why the skinny man got the job.

cracker said...

and forgive me for the lengthy post

I pride myself on the fact that all worthwhile communication, if you know what youre talking about, can be done 3 sentences or less. : )

theCL said...

"an efficient governance takes my tax money and invests it into my National well being"

I'll have to respectufully disagree and stick with Thomas Jefferson, who said:

"A wise and [efficient] government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned ..."


"If my government executes its duties within the context of the law then I can only consider it a Conservative govt."

Once again, I'll stick with Thomas Jefferson, who said of law:

But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.

cracker said...

Jefferson, like Locke

does look good on paper....